Monday, March 1, 2010

I May Be An Asshole, But My Kid Has a Bunny-Pig and a Puppy


Target. We are at Target. Me and the Bugs. And we are scooting down the aisles. Pow. Pow (I am making little shooting gun actions with my hands in my mind cause I am totally knocking down these aisles, baby). We are really doing a wham-bam-thank-you-mam of this shopping endeavor. We are getting what we need and getting out. I am feeling pretty good about myself. I am not being sucked into the Target vortex. You know the one. The one where you go in for toothpaste and baby wipes and end up hours later, eyes glazed over, and holding a receipt over $100. How does that happen? Well, it wasn't happening this time.

But then we had to go by the aisle with the cheery ceramic piggy banks and Bug sees them and says, "Piggy!" to which I say yes, "Piggy." Which clicks something in her 17 month old brain that says MUST HAVE PIGGY RIGHT NOW!!!! So now we are close to a full blown PIGGY INCIDENT in the aisles of Target. Bug is crying, pleading, "piggy, piggy!" I get the bright idea to head over to the toy aisle and pick up some little pig that she can hold onto while we finish this shopping excursion and get outta here. We are zooming down the toy aisles, my eyes like radar for anything pig. And nothin', I find nothin'. I grab a little stuffed animal dog and this seems to please her cause now she's all "puppy, puppy."


But I am a glutton for punishment and I decide to make one last stab at finding this child a pig. So I dash us over to the $1 aisle and think I've found it...eureka!...its pink and round it's a pig....no wait it's a bunny. But she doesn't have to know that, right? Right. I give it to her and exclaim, "PIG!" She gives me a slighted look that says, alright lady, I'll go along with your story, now let's go pay for my new puppy and bunny-pig and let's get outta here and go play outside. While in line, I get this bright idea to not actually buy the pig and the doggy. She won't care, right? I have somehow forgotten that my child NEVER FORGETS ANYTHING! If we played with bubble outside four months ago, every time we are in that spot where we blew said bubbles, she'll say, "bubbles!"

And she does not forget this time either. The entire ride home she is crying for piggy and dog. I tell her we'll see them when we get home. And when we get home I bring her her two stuffed animal pigs and make a big show of it, "Piggy piggy, Yay!!!!" But she is not having it. She is screaming her head off and pointing to the Target bag and begging for piggy and dog. There are times when I can feel exactly what she is feeling and the feeling was betrayal.

So (and this is where you may judge me and deem me an asshole) I tell her that we are going back to the store to get the puppy and the pig. She runs to the door. We get in the car. We go back to Target. We get the puppy and the pig. They cost a grand total of $6.49. Why the hell didn't I just buy them to begin with? You might think my mistake was going back. You might think I should have let her have a tantrum and get over it and learn that life is not fair and she doesn't get everything she wants. You might think I missed out on a teachable moment. Well I do think this is a teachable moment...for me.

My mistake was putting those toys in her little hands to calm her down if I had no intention of buying them. She couldn't have a ceramic piggy bank. I should have let her cry about that, if anything. Instead, I made it easier on both of us by appeasing her with a distraction. However, when I slyly removed them from the checkout stand, I used deception against my child. That is not the way I want to mother. She was right to feel betrayed because everything I did in the store led her to believe that I was going to buy them for her. If I didn't plan to buy them for her I should have never given them to her to begin with. That is holding myself accountable and teaching ethical behavior. Again, feel free to judge.

18 comments:

Annika said...

I doubt this will surprise you, but I totally agree. And I think you did a great job, because you did your best and when you saw your mistake, you fixed it.

Tina said...

I know these days well. One time I resisted with our youngest daughter and she said..."can I call daddy" to which he told her..."baby girl while you got a daddy you aint gotta ever have no money..." HE is worse than me.. they are 18, 15, 13 and 9 and well adjusted even despite us.

Sarah said...

This is a very thoughtful post! Props to you for being aware of a mistake you think you made. On another note, I love how you called it the Target vortex. I always get sucked in. I wish I could stop it.

Existential Waitress said...

I agree with your decision. I've had to suck it up on several occassions and fess up to my kids when I've made a bad choice. It's important to me that above all, my kids will know that I really do try my best and that I'm fair. I really, really like this post.

And you would think that, b/c they're little, they won't remember things or that you can "slide one by." NOT SO MUCH.

Tracie said...

You will get no judgment from me. You went back and got her the toys and everything turned out ok. Please don't be too hard on yourself. We're all doing the best we can as parents.
xoxo

Amie said...

Thanks, all. Damn, I love that kid. What's that thing they say about children being the greatest teachers? Corny but true.

Dalia (Generation X Mom) said...

Just one of the trials and tribulations of motherhood! We have all either been there or will be. We are all allowed slip ups now and then!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I've done this exact same thing (minus the pig-dog, for me it was toy trains, ducks, kid laptop computers, etc.)and regretted it. It's all fun and games with distraction until they begin to remember everything and suddenly there's an awareness there and a huge pig-dog experience every time you go somewhere. I finally just stopped using the toys as distraction in the store and started using food instead.

If you see a woman shuffling through Target trailing cereal and raisins and tiny marshmallows, it's probably me.

Not much better I'm sure but at least I stopped having to buy $25 worth of extra toys we don't need every time I stepped one foot inside Target or Walmart.

You are a good, honest, sensitive, loving mother and your daughter is so very lucky to have a mom like you.

Suzanne said...

I have totally been in your shoes. Especially at Target. You did the right thing. I mean, we're all parenting as we go, right? Learning from my mistakes is a daily ritual. :)

MOMSICLE VIBE said...

Bugs is so lucky to have a thoughtful mama. These little buggers are changing all the time. Just when I get used to one stage she moves on and the old tricks don't work anymore. We are going to make a gazillion mistakes as parents. It is so great that so many of us try to be conscious about it! I say, nice work!

I've never seen a Target before (sheltered Canadian that I am), but Winners or Walmart make me poo my pants. Well, not really in my pants. But, the excitement of all that merchandise and the overwhelm of it all always gives me a poo attack. Seriously, I make a bee line for the bathroom and Hubs waits patiently. Sounds like I might not even make it to the bathroom in a Target. My over-sharing heart just thought you should know :)

Angie Muresan said...

I have done this so many times with my kids before I learned. You are a wonderful mom. And what's the harm in giving in once in a while?

JoeyRes said...

I'm sure that I wouldn't have gone back to Target to buy them after, but I totally have used items to calm her down that I have no intention of buying. One memorable target trip included one of those noisy kiddy laptop contraptions. The target staff seemed to frown on my use of that as a cart soother.

The bright side is that you did what you felt was right and soon your daughter will be older and you can reason with her (also known as have a real argument) about your purchases.

ZenMom said...

I am not one to judge on this one...have been in this same situation more times than I care to remember.

Letting a child cry it out in the middle of Target is highly overrated. I go for the peace and calm (however short-lived) every time.

Amie said...

You people are awesome.

Amy said...

OH my goodness! this is hilarious! And you are such a good mommy for going back! Judge you, I do not. You get an A+ in my book hun:)

Amie said...

Thanks, Amy.

Denise said...

Target Vortex. I'm totally stealing that (and giving you credit, of course!). Feel the same way about that joint--got out today for $56.72. Success!! Great perspective--and bravo for reflecting and finding what felt right for you.

Adriana said...

no judgement here at all! I really like this post, thanks for your honesty.
and I always get sucked into the taget 'vortex"...it happens to me at ikea too. I always go in for a quick run through adn end up there for over an hour and spending way more than i wanted to on a bunch of junk i didnt need!